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Beyond the Mat Lesson #5: It’s Never a Waste

“If you learn from it, nothing is wasted.”

I really liked this lesson’s focus on trying new things with the mindset that there will be some positive takeaway from the experience. I wish I had been in that mindset during my first degree test regarding the beach workout. Maybe Mercury was in retrograde or something, but I let my anxiety take over and didn’t enjoy it as much as I should have. This year I know better! If I feel a funk coming on I think I’ll find a good Headspace meditation series to do a few days ahead of time.

I think the biggest struggle I’ve had with this concept this year was in regards to sparring. As I eased back into sparring after a long hiatus, by the end of a sparring class I was often super frustrated and in, or near, tears — it was extra frustrating as I always enjoyed sparring. I’d go home feeling that it would have been better to not go at all, then to go, and come home so upset. However, that struggle ultimately narrowed my focus on troubleshooting the problems leading to those frustrating experiences, and I both upped my game and learned something about myself. I upped my game by moving my focus from assertiveness to defense and counters. About myself, I learned that I’m neither physically or mentally quick enough for my sparring A-game in the evening after a day of work.

What is probably quite obvious from the tone of my recent journal entries is that I’m also having a hard time staying positive regarding my training hiatus the last two weeks, as I’ve been weathering a perfect storm of deadlines from pretty much every single one of my clients. If I were to reach for a learning opportunity in this situation, for meaning within the chaos, I suppose it would have something to do with discovering that I have at least a small amount agility in today’s modern, fast-paced lifestyle. Regaining momentum is hard, and lesser setbacks have completely derailed me from other goals in the past. However, I’ve been getting a lot of practice in switching between projects, between mindsets, between work, life, and working out — and I’m about to go put on my running shoes and find an air conditioned treadmill to practice that switch some more!

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